Pyunic - Armenian Association for the Disabled 6606 Cantalope Avenue Van Nuys, CA 91405 818.785.3468 NEWS ADVISORY FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE February 15, 2005 Contact: Teni Melidonian 626.644.7247 firstname.lastname@example.org Disabled Athletes from Armenia to Compete in 20th Los Angeles City Marathon Los Angeles, CA (February 15) - Pyunic, the Armenian Association for the Disabled, is proud to announce that two of its disabled athletes from the Republic of Armenia will compete in the 20th Los Angeles City Marathon on Sunday, March 6, 2005. Marine Hakobyan, 30, a paraplegic, suffered a spinal cord injury in the devastating 1988 earthquake that left over 25,000 dead and hundreds of thousands injured and homeless. A member since 1992, Hakobyan has participated in Pyunic sponsored programs including several rehabilitation camps and, most recently, competed in archery at the 2004 Paralympics Games in Athens, Greece. Greta Khndzrtsyan, 18, a double amputee, lost her parents' at the age of two in the earthquake. Raised by her grandparents', Khndzrtsyan is a student at the Gyumri Pedagogic University majoring in Psychology. At the age of 15, she competed in the 2002 Los Angeles City Marathon. Both athletes train at the Pyunic Center for the Disabled in Yerevan, Armenia. "It is pure determination and dedication that will help these athletes cross the finish-line. Their triumph will provide motivation and hope for many disabled individuals living in Armenia," said Sarkis Ghazarian, president of Pyunic, the athlete's sponsoring organization. There are over 100,000 disabled persons in Armenia; current laws and public socialization do not meet western standards. "My hope is to create greater awareness and public acceptance for the disable in my country," said Hakobyan. While in Southern California, the athletes will be honored at Pyunic's annual fundraising event - Winter Brunch & Silent Auction - benefiting disabled programs in Armenia on February 27, 2005 at the Brandview Collection in Glendale, California. Founded in 1989 to help the disabled children of the 1988 earthquake in Armenia, Pyunic is the leading non-governmental organization shaping public awareness for the disabled. Pyunic provides humanitarian aid, social services, career training and summer/winter teaching camps. Pyunic athletes have competed in numerous worldwide athletic competitions, including the Los Angeles Marathon and both summer and winter Paralympics since 1994. For more information about Pyunic, please contact Sarkis Ghazarian at 818.785.3468. For press/media inquiries and interview requests, please contact Teni Melidonian at 626.644.7247 or at email@example.com. Pyunic, the Armenian Association for the Disabled, is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to assisting, supporting and shaping public awareness for the disabled in the Republic of Armenia.